The Instigator
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The Contender
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Are Atheists Able to Know Reality from Delusion?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 250 times Debate No: 97444
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Atheists love to live under the delusion that they are the guardians of rationality. But how can they hold this title when they cannot even articulate a rational way to know truth from fiction. If they cannot do this, they are literally ignorant and the ignorant cannot guard anything. So, what atheist can give me a rational way atheists know truth from fiction?

Answering this question is the sole purpose for this debate. If you are unable or unwilling to answer this question, do not respond to this debate. Likewise, if you do not believe in reality, believe you make it up or deny it is objective or knowable, or if you do not know how to rationally know truth from fiction, do not respond to this debate. If you are terrified of cross-examination or madly in love with red herrings, do not respond to this debate. If you have responded before, do not respond to this debate. After all, if you had nothing rational to say then, you will having nothing rational to say now.

If all you have is "science", do not respond to this debate, for science relies on the your senses and reason, which begs the question of how you know your senses and reason are valid. Perhaps you can tell me, which is fine, but if the way you validate you senses and reason is with your senses and reason, you lose the debate because that is circular reasoning and circular reasoning is not rational.

if you respond in violation of these rules, you automatically lose the debate.


Vince, since you are singling out atheists you are assuming that this is only a problem for atheists, or else you would have named this debate "Are People Able to Know Reality from Delusion?" The wording of your arguments inherently assumes this is only a problem for atheists and not for religious people like you. Because of this assumption you make you have to show how religious people can know reality from non-reality to justify only making this a problem for atheists.

If I can't prove my case and you can't prove religious people can know reality then none of us have fulfilled our burden of proof and this debate should be a tie. Also your arguments such as not trusting our senses also are good arguments for why religious people also can't know reality from delusion too. So your arguments are self-refuting and shows that your assumption that only atheists have this problem is wrong.

Either our senses are correct or they are not, so evidence against them being incorrect is evidence they are correct, and visa verse. You never said I have to prove my case so I will only show why it is more likely that our senses are correct than otherwise.

My first argument is we can use Occam's Razor which is that the simplest explanation is the most likely. What we see being real instead of an elaborate hoax is the simplest explanation and most likely.

Second, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and the delusion theory is more extraordinary and without evidence it is less likely.

Third, our senses perceive extreme detail in every nook and cranny and such detail is less to be a fabrication.

Fourth, complex fabrications are very likely to have mistakes and we can't find any bugs in the problem or logical flaws in the dream.

Fifth, we can verify separate senses and separate observations with each other and test them against each other.

If everything was an elaborate hoax we wouldn't be presented with ideas that it could be false like this very debate.
Debate Round No. 1


So, you are going with you know truth from fiction via you senses. Okay, for that is all you have.

Tell us how you know your senses are valid?

How do you know Occam's Razor is a way to know truth? Your senses did not tell you this, which defeats refutes your own sense-base epistemology. I accept your concession of defeat.

How do you know "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? Again, your senses did not tell you this, so you are again refuting your own epistemology. And how do you what an "extraordinary claim" is? And this is actually nonsense, for any claim merely requires sufficient evidence, no matter what you think of the claim.

Which of your senses told you that your senses perceive in extreme detail, whatever that is, what is a complex fabrication, that it has mistakes, etc. And which of your senses told you detail is less likely to be a fabrication? If you cannot tell me which sense, you have again refuted your own view.

And to verify your senses with the supposed senses of others cannot be done without using your senses. To verify your senses with your senses is to irrational beg the question.

I am still waiting on your rational method of knowing truth from fiction. Good luck. Your first effort was a bust.


As I pointed out in the last round Vince in his arguments and the very title of this debate is assuming this is only a problem for atheists and must defend his assumption. He failed to do this in the last round and can't upload his burden of proof so at best his can only hope for a tie.

Occam's Razor isn't based on the senses and was actually developed by a mathematician and is based on logic. Say that you are walking and see your shoes untied. Keep in mind I am not saying this actually happened, I am only giving you a hypothetical thought experiment. What is more likely, that they came undone by themselves or that someone secretly untied them while your were walking? Obviously the former is because it most simply lines up with the evidence without making assumptions. What about the theory that aliens untied my shoes? This makes even more assumptions and is even less likely. This theorem works because more complicated explanations make more assumptions and if they lack evidence this makes them less likely.

For another thought experiment lets say I told you I found a cat in my yard. You would probably believe me. If I said I found an alien in my yard, you wouldn't even be satisfied by seeing a picture. This is because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This is true for a similar reason as Occam's razor. More extraordinary claims tend to make more assumptions, which make them less likely if they are not confirmed.

To say that our senses aren't real requires an elaborate hoax where every detail was constructed to fool us, and it is so perfectly designed that there aren't any mistakes. There are a ton of assumptions here, including the assumption there is a real world beyond the one we experience.

We can also use prediction testing. If our senses are correct we can make predictions that our senses and observations should match and they are consistent. If these predictions are confirmed this makes the theory of our reality more likely.
Debate Round No. 2


I could not care less about your truth claims unless and until you can provide me a rational method by which you can know truth from fiction. You said you use your senses, but then proceeded to refute your own epistemology by relying on claims that are not based on senses. So I ask you again, how do you know your senses are valid? If you fail to answer again, you lose the debate.


Vince again has failed to uphold his burden of proof and hasn't shown why atheists are being singled out and why only atheists have this problem. Another problem is that without trusting his senses he can't even be sure that atheists even exist, and can't support his assertion that atheists can't know reality from delusion. According to his reasoning, isn't it possible that every experience where he has met an atheist has been a delusion? So the only way he can make his arguments is by trusting his senses. So the very assumption his arguments are based on proves my conclusion, that we can trust our senses, and atheists can use their senses to know reality from delusion, and is evidence for my case.

His attack on my arguments is literally just one sentence:
>> You said you use your senses, but then proceeded to refute your own epistemology by relying on claims that are not based on senses.

I relied on Occam's Razor and the Extraordinary Claims arguments which are based on logic and the idea that extraordinary or more complex claims that aren't based on evidence are less likely because they have more assumptions. These logical arguments show why it is more likely that are senses are accurate than that they are not. I only have to show that my position is more likely, to have the more convincing arguments.

There are three scenarios for senses being inaccurate:
1: World is a planned fabrication.
2: Everything is an unplanned dream or complete delusion.
3: Some of our experiences are real, and some are delusions.

The two arguments I mentioned above refute them. We can refute #3 by testing different senses with each other and testing experiences with different ones. This is not circular because each sense and experience is different and since some are correct we would eventually find a correct one and it would contradict a fabricated one. For example if you asked people you know if your teddy bear friend is real eventually someone would deny he can see it.
Debate Round No. 3


As this tool has still not told me how he knows his senses are valid or that Occan's Razor and the Extradinary Claims arguments are true, he loses the debate. Moving on.


>> As this tool has still not told me how he knows his senses are valid or that Occan's Razor and the Extradinary Claims arguments are true, he loses the debate. Moving on.

Unfortunately con has been unable to satisfy his burden of proof that atheists even exist to make his negative claim about them, and that atheists should be singled out. I was never required to prove that the senses are accurate and so only attempted to show that it is more likely they are accurate, to establish my position being more likely to be right than con's.

I consider my arguments to be very convincing but if you the voter disagree, at least I tried to defend my claim, and con failed to really respond to my arguments. Con didn't even try to defend his burden of proof so because I was the only one who really debated I should win this debate, or in the very least get a tie.

Also, con has resorted to name-calling which is a violation of conduct on this site and should lose on conduct. I do thank con for sticking through this debate.

Distraff out!
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by canis 1 month ago
"how do you know your senses are valid? If you fail to answer again, you lose the debate."
See this comment....
Posted by canis 1 month ago
Yes. It is your gods will...
Posted by vi_spex 1 month ago
atheism=a theism, belief to the contrary=theism=theist=viceregent
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kove_Ducote 1 month ago
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Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to provide further arguments during the later rounds.